Embrace your emotions
But don’t let them control you.
Being emotionally agile is what we need than becoming emotionally rigid. It’s not always required to stay positive, stay happy. Be sad if you lost something/someone. Feel free to feel your emotions.
But remember, you control your emotions. Don’t let your emotions control you.
More often, we use the phrase, “I’m stressed” or “I’m sad.” Here we’re defining ourselves with our emotions. But the truth is the “emotion” is something that we are feeling. It is just a part of us. Emotions don’t define us.
To deal with this, we need to find the root cause of this discomfort we are having at the moment. But before that, to make it more effective, we need to stop the conventionally viewing of our emotions as “good or bad”, “negative or positive”. Because when we tag our feelings, we always try to avoid the ‘bad’ ones.
Avoiding something is not a solution to a situation; rather, it creates more discomfort in the form of anxiety or fear.
So we need to adopt being emotionally agile. Embrace what comes in our way with psychological resilience.
If we become emotionally rigid, we avoid any circumstances we face that creates discomfort. When we hit a financial crisis or lose someone we love and care, upon being asked “how you’re doing?”, we often respond with “I’m fine” or “I’m doing OK.” It shows how we are not accepting our emotions. We don’t need to tend to be “OK” all the time. It’s normal to be sad, to be worrying about our financial situations. But we should not be surrendering ourselves to these emotions.
We will encounter things that may cause stress or anxiety, which we cannot control, but we can control what we feel or how we react. We can control our emotions.
On the other hand, if we surrender to our emotions, it affects our lives. Everyone will, or has dealt with the loss of a loved one, losing their job, serious illness. If we keep on worrying about it or stay sad or upset about the things happening in our life or stop trying to recover from the situation, we are wasting our energy. We are falling into the fear trap.
“Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
What happened is in the past. What will happen is in the future. What we can do is try to embrace those things and plan for moving on and think about how we can improve or change the situation we are currently.
Deep dive into the granular level of your emotions. What is that causing you to make you feel unhappy? Get hold of the root cause and see what you can do about it, but do not avoid it.
There’s no need to be positive all the time; you cannot be. Dr Susan David, in one of her Ted workshops, put it best: “Life’s beauty is inseparable from its fragility”. She defines emotional agility as an ability to endure our emotions in a way that inspires us to unveil the best of ourselves.
Gaining emotional agility is not about thinking positive all the time, but the opposite. We should not keep on chasing happiness; we should embrace both positive and negative events occurring in our life, experience it. Learn how to deal with it. Eventually, it will bring us happiness.
Getting control over your emotions, developing a balance of it in your life will make you one step closer to your freedom.